How To Get Rid of Clogged Drains

By Subodh / May 29, 2011

Clogged drains can be very hard to deal with. However, you can get rid of clogged drains even without a plumber.

Numerous practical tips can help you solve this problem fast:

  1. Gather the tools you need to help you finish this job right. Items you need include the following: Pliers, pipe, joint compound, Teflon tape, and pipe wrench. You also need a plunger, petroleum jelly, plumber’s auger, and screwdrivers.
  2. Identify root clog location within the pipes. Usually only dealing with one clogged drain in the sink, toilet, or shower is easiest to deal with. However, you should also check the main drain line if more than one drain is clogged at the same time.
  3. Check the drain stopper or strainer. This is a very common place for a bathroom sink or bathtub to experience a clog. The strainer or drain stopper usually can be easily removed in order to properly clean out sinks and bathtubs.
  4. Keep the hair out of your drain and stopper. Keeping your drain stopper and stopper base clean can help prevent drain clogging. Using pliers may also help. However, make sure you put protective padding around the stopper. This will help reduce the chance you will not accidentally chip the chrome finish.
  5. Remove strainer screws to make cleaning easier. Once the strainer screws are removed you can then take out the strainer. Clean it as completely as possible.

Proper Use of Plungers

A plunger can be used to unclog a drain. However, maximum results while plunging requires the right kind of plunger-one that springs back well. If your plunger is now old you may need a new one.

Here are some practical plunging tips:

  • Block all openings by forcing thick rags into the holes. This will help create greater suction when you attempt to use a plunger.
  • Use of water is very helpful when using a plunger. Usually only two to three inches of water over the clogged drain can do the trick. This water is what would most clear whatever obstruction is causing your sink to be clogged.
  • Have an extra basin of water on hand. This is helpful in case the original water supply you are plunging dwindles down
  • You can add a thick layer of petroleum jelly to the rim of the plunger. This will help create a more powerful suction as it creates a tighter seal.
  • It might take you at least two minutes and then afterwards you can start testing the water if it goes down the drain. Then, you may have to resume plunging if the water looks sluggish.
  • Once the water is running faster you can tell it is unclogging. You can then run hot water into the drain to wash away the remaining particles.

Cleaning the Trap

  • Sometimes a plunger does not work very well. If you have not noticed as powerful of results as you like when plunging your pipes, try cleaning the trap under the sink.
  • Aim a bucket below the trap. This will allow you to catch any waste water.
  • If a trap has a hexagonal clean out-plug at the base of the bent take out that plug. Then, push a straightened coat hanger or bottle brush around the trap bends.
  • In the event there are no clean-out plugs you should loosen the two couplings that help remove the trap. While doing so, you are advised to pad the water pump pliers. This will help you avoid damaging the chrome finish.
  • Sometimes trap joints may be stubborn. In the event they are, use of some penetration oil should be used.
  • After you have loosened the trap, hold it over the bucket to drain off the waste water. Then, insert a bottle brush or straightened coat hanger into the trap to help push out the debris.
  • After you have chosen one of the above trap removal methods, use hot soapy water to wash the trap. Check for any sign of wear and tear before you install, too. This will help prevent further leakage.